In January 2020 the council agreed in principle to invest in improving our leisure centres. This recognised that leisure centres make an important contribution to our residents physical and mental wellbeing, but that many of the buildings were old and becoming more difficult and expensive to repair.
Since the first lockdown eased we’ve been working to progress plans to create more modern and welcoming centres and activities that better meet the needs of residents and visitors. Although we find ourselves in another lockdown it is still important to progress plans for improving the leisure centres as we understand how important they are to our communities.
We want to make sure that our leisure centres can help to make an impact by encouraging and supporting people’s health and wellbeing through physical activity.
We also want to make sure that we strike the right balance between making sure that leisure centres are affordable, and that they can attract enough users to keep the centres sustainable.
We’ve started to identify the types of facilities and activities which would have the most impact and be the most cost effective and economical to deliver.
We’ve looked at current levels of use, leisure market trends, demographic data, leisure sector and health research as well as a range of other factors to ensure our proposals will have the greatest possible impact on health and levels of income
In some cases, this means improving or updating our existing facilities, however in the case of those facilities in Seaham, Bishop Auckland and Chester-le-street, it is more financially viable to build new centres.
We are planning 2 stages of consultation and engagement work, stage 1 across November and into December 2020 includes this engagement website on the activity/facility mix. There is also a consultation on the proposed site locations which have been shortlisted for the new leisure centres in Bishop Auckland, Chester le street and Seaham. Stage 2 of the process will commence as we get into the early part of 2021 and will include detailed consultation on each of the site specific proposals, thereafter we plan to continue with regular engagement activities as the project progresses.
VIEW THE PROPOSALS